Ashley Horner’s $1,000 10-Week Transformation Contest

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to enter Ashley Horner’s new $1,000 10-week transformation  contest.  Her last 12-week contest was so successful, she decided to host another one.  You must be doing one of her programs (although you’re allowed to add other stuff in) to participate in this contest.  I already had Magnify You and Achieving Prominence, so I didn’t have to make a purchase to participate.

We are being held accountable by mini challenges, and we have a huge Instagram support community, which is fantastic.  Online participation plays a role in your overall performance/judging.  Hashtags for the contest are #ashleyhorner #ashleyhornertransformation #beautyinstrength #becomingextraordinary #magnifyyou #pipehitter, #achievingprominence, as well as anything else anyone wants to tag on.   If you want to check out some of the contestants, give those hashtag searches a go.

For this challenge, I decided to re-do Magnify You.  So far, I’ve really been putting forth the effort, and I feel great!

The challenge started this past Monday (November 17).  “Before” photos were due Sunday (November 16) night.  I went to Costco over the weekend and stocked up on supplies.  I purchased chicken breast, lean ground beef (I don’t like ground turkey), organic eggs, organic salmon, organic baby spinach, frozen pineapple, frozen mango, frozen triple berries, lemons, limes, and a few more staples.

I will be eating completely healthy, but I’ve decided to not log my food.  I will be measuring my portions (that won’t change), but I won’t be so anal about making sure I record every little thing I put into my mouth.  Not hitting my macros was stressing me out.  As long as I keep my choices healthy for now, I should be good.  Getting back to basics.

Alright…on to posting about my daily workout.  Stay tuned.

Fall Brings New Hope

Hi everyone!  As seems to be standard with me…I’ve been MIA, yet again.  This time, I can’t say that I haven’t been doing anything.  In fact, I’ve been doing too much.  Work is busy, busy, busy!  I used to post during the workday, but I just haven’t had time for that.  Despite being busy, I have been keeping up with my workouts.  The only problem is that I haven’t been consistent.

I’m currently on Day 76 of the 100-day program.  I’m facing a tiny bit of a dilemma here.  Because I’ve been missing more days in between than what the program allows, I’m debating if I should start over again or continue. The program says that if you miss “x” number of days, to repeat the week.  Well, I’ve missed more than just a couple of days in a row, and I’ve missed a few here and there.

I took some time off for a family death.  I also took some time off when my cat passed away.  I took some time off when both my knees started to hurt, as opposed to just my right knee.

Because I haven’t been keeping up like I should be, I’m becoming discouraged, and becoming discouraged leads to crappy food choices.  I joined the Ashley Horner $1,000 transformation challenge, but managed to screw up my entry b/c of all the time I’ve been taking off.  There has been no transformation, and at this point, there’s no way I would win.

I mentioned my discouragement to my daughter’s muay thai coach, and he suggested I do something more cardio intensive, similar to the boot camp I was doing.

As I don’t have the funds to pay for boot camp right now, I searched the internet and came across a 21-day program that I’m going to follow.  There are five days of workouts with two days of rest.

RE-WIND!

Hmm…this post has been sitting in “draft” since October 17, 2014.  I had to abandon it, because as I said above, work’s been really busy.

I mentioned above that I joined a 12-week Ashley Horner transformation contest and failed because of the time I had to take away from working out.  Well, Ashley is hosting her second $1,000 transformation, and I quickly hopped on board.

So far, I’m doing really well.  I finished the 21-day Clutch program, so I decided to re-do Magnify You.  I’m currently on Phase 1, Week 1.

I’ll post separately, as I have in the past, about my workouts.  Stay tuned.  :)

Achieving Prominence, Day 8

Achieving Prominence, Day 8.  You may have noticed that I missed days six and seven.  Day seven was an actual rest day and well, I took an extra rest day, so that’s my day six as well.  I do however, plan to do my day six on this week’s rest day, so technically, I’ll be all caught up.  Ha ha!

In the fitness world, Mondays are sometimes referred to as International Chest Day.  Guess what, yesterday was another chest day.  I knew the gym was going to be busy, and I was right.  I ended up using 15-lb dumbbells instead of 20-lb for some of my exercises, because equipment was scarce.  The gym was packed!

The workout was structured as follows:

  • WARMUP-Three types of push-ups
  • WEIGHTS-Six exercises
  • FINISHER-Three types of push-ups (higher rep count)
  • CORE-Three exercises

I made it through my workout feeling pretty good.  This workout was pretty much a repeat of the last chest workout; however, an extra set was added to each of the exercises.  So, this time around, the exercises were four sets of 10-12 reps.

Macros were off.  What else is new?

07JUL14 macro breakdown

07JUL14 macro breakdown

My goal:

  • 40% protein
  • 30% fat
  • 30% carb

 

Achieving Prominence, Day 5

Achieving Prominence, Day 5, Back…Bring it!

Despite feeling overwhelmingly tired the last couple of days, I tackled yesterday’s workout head on.

The workout was structured as follows:

  • WARMUP-None
  • WEIGHTS-Eight exercises
  • BODY WEIGHT-None
  • CORE-Five exercises

Although there was no “prescribed” warmup, I always do at least anywhere from five to ten minutes of cardio to prepare myself for the workout.

This back workout called for barbell roll outs.  I did not do these.  I have tried them in the past, and they hurt my lower back too much. I need to strengthen my core a little bit more before I attempt these.  Also, the workout called for max rep pullups, but I didn’t have anyone to spot me (like I do with my trainer), so I did assisted pullups on the machine instead.

I switched my Sunday rest day to Friday, because as I mentioned, I’ve been struggling with energy as of late.  I’m finding it challenging finishing the cardio portions.  I still just don’t have it in me to finish five miles of running let alone six.

I think part of the sluggishness is due to using a sugar-free version of pre-workout drink.  Normally, I get the regular, and I seem to get through my workout rather well.  Also, I debating trying Cellucor pre-workout once my current product is depleted.  I’m a bit “iffy” on this, because I don’t like to put any extra chemicals in my body than I need too.  My current pre-workout is a plant-based vegan brand, so there aren’t any manufactured ingredients.

I got much closer to hitting my macros yesterday.   I’m happy about that.

06JUL14

My goal:

  • 40% protein
  • 30% fat
  • 30% carb

I’m pretty sore today already, so I know I had a good workout.

 

Achieving Prominence, Day 4 (Redo)

Yesterday was the last of my “redo” days.  This time, I remembered to bring my HRT, so I used this workout’s calorie burn for last week’s workout as well.

As I mentioned, I decided to lower the rep amount of weighted walking lunges from 25 to 15.  My weight was lighter as well, but that’s only because I couldn’t find the 15s I used last week.  The gym was quite busy.

I seem to have plowed through my workout.  It was challenging, for sure! There were times I didn’t think I would be able to finish, but I did.  I think I was a bit low on energy yesterday, despite having my pre-workout drink.   I was spent by the end of it all, but I was glad I completed it.

Food was a bit wishy-washy.  Dinner wasn’t the greatest, but I think I chose the best of the fast-food options available to me.  I had a 6-inch cold cut Subway sandwich, which is less demonic than the McDonald’s option.   Ha ha!

Seriously though, here’s my macro chart for the day.

03JUL14 macro breakdown

03JUL14 macro breakdown

That’s it for me today.  Quick and simple.

Achieving Prominence, Update

I’ve missed a couple of postings as of late.  Sadly, my cat became very ill, and I had to put her down.  She was diagnosed with aggressive mouth cancer.  It was blocking some of her throat and eating became very difficult for her.  She was already losing weight and only licking the “sauce” from canned food. I was (and still am) devastated. She was 14 years old and we had her for 13 years.  She was adopted from a shelter.  I am trying to forgive myself for taking her in to take her life away.  I cried, and cried, and cried until I gave myself a migraine.  I pleaded with the vet to give me another option, but all options led to the same result.  I am an animal lover, through and through.

She was a beautiful cat with a beautiful soul.  If anyone in the house cried, she would guarantee to run from where she was to be by your side.  As she took her last breaths, I thought, “how will you comfort me now?”

I missed a couple of meals, and I lost some weight.  I don’t care.  I know with time, I will slowly get better.  Right now, I can’t bear to look at her empty bowl (the dog lapped up the last bit she couldn’t swallow).  I can’t look at her little mat in her sleeping spot. She won’t be sleeping on the Christmas tree skirt this year either.  Her litter box remains untouched.

Liggy

I promised myself I would never get any more pets, but I’m missing having a cat around.  I’ve always lived with cats, and I can’t imagine myself never having any more.  I feel like a traitor.  :(

I missed my Friday and Saturday sessions.  The program says to restart the week if you miss two consecutive works.  This week was spent starting days one through four over again.  I’m on Day four (repeat tonight) and starting Day five for the first time tomorrow.

Achieving Prominence, Day 4

Yesterday was Day 4 of the Achieving Prominence (AP) program, and we focused on lower body.  I forgot my heart-rate monitor at home, so I have no idea how many calories I burned.  I just figured I’d make sure to record it next week and use those numbers.

Today’s workout was structured as follows:

  • WARMUP-Cardio
  • WEIGHTS-Six exercises
  • BODY WEIGHT-Two exercises
  • CORE-Three exercies

Lower body day is structured a little differently than upper body in that it requires four sets of exercises as opposed to three.  Also, the walking lunges exercises had way more reps than I’m accustomed to doing.  My knees were not happy towards my last couple of sets.  I made a mental note to either cut down the sets to three, or cut down the reps to 15 at my next go at it.

I managed to complete the rest of the workout without any complications until I reached the final two exercises, which just happened to be body-weight exercises only.  My hip flexors were so tight, I couldn’t even lift my left leg sideways to complete the side leg raise.  I would get a shooting pain across my bum, so I stopped the workout right there.

Because of this, I think it’s especially important to adhere to my lower set or lower rep idea next time around.

Food wise, as you can see, I’m still struggling with zeroing in on my macros.  Tomorrow’s a new day.

26JUN14 macro breakdown

26JUN14 macro breakdown

My goal:

  • 40% protein
  • 30% fat
  • 30% carb

Achieving Prominence, Day 3

Yesterday was Day 3 of the Achieving Prominence (AP) program, and the focus was on arms.  I worked biceps and triceps and lifted one weight heavier than my previous, except for the weighted dips. In the past, I used a 45-lb plate with my feet on the floor.  This time around, my feet were placed on a bench.  This changed the dynamics quite a bit and made it so much more challenging.  I used a 25-lb plate and wasn’t really able to complete a full-range rep. I think I may lighten my weights once more on my next go at it, so that I can get a better range.

Today’s workout was structured as follows:

  • WARMUP-Cardio
  • WEIGHTS-Seven exercises
  • CORE-Five exercises

After I finished my weights, I set about the task of completing my five-mile run on the treadmill.  As luck would have it, all the treadmills facing the TVs were taken, so I begrudgingly made my way over to the row of treadmills facing the mirrored wall.  Wah, wah.  I really don’t need to look at myself while I’m running.

Anyway, I ran and ran and ran, for what seemed like forever.  I avoided looking at the mile counter as much as possible.  Finally, when I thought I ran quite a bit, I took a peek.  I was just under 1/2 mile.  Seriously.  “Ugh” is the only word I can think of to describe how I felt.  I mustered along at my 5.0 speed.  All the while the girl beside me was running at 7.6 surpassing my distance in no time.  I increased my speed to 5.5 and ran up to 2 miles.  I started to slow down and started taking one too many breaks.  When I finally convinced myself to pick up the speed and continue on, my shins started to really hurt.  In fact, they hurt quite a bit, so I slowed right down to a walk, cooled down, and called it a day.  In the end, I did 2.25 miles (just under half).  There’s definitely room for improvement here.

You might have noticed that I did my cardio after my weights.  I’ve been told by several trainers that you shouldn’t expend all you energy at the beginning of the workout with cardio. Instead, you should use that energy to lift heavier.  That’s what I’ve opted to do. I do find that this doesn’t work on leg day, however.  Once I’ve lifted heavy on leg day, the last thing I want to do is run on my already tired legs.  Alas, I do it anyway.

Food wise, macros are still an issue.  High on carbs.  Low on protein.  Closer to the fat quantity.  Food choices are still good.

25JUN14 macro breakdown

25JUN14 macro breakdown

My goal:

  • 40% protein
  • 30% fat
  • 30% carb

Tonight’s workout is legs and includes a one-mile sprint.  I will probably do this before my weights (contrary to what I just stated above).

Achieving Prominence, Day 2

Yesterday was Day 2 of the Achieving Prominence (AP) program, and the focus was on shoulders.  Again, I attempted to lift at least one weight heavier than I was doing in the Magnify You program.

Like Day 1, I struggled to perform my final reps.  I had to pause a couple of times, breathe, and continue the set.  Again, like Day 1, this workout was pretty short.  In fact, I was done in 47 minutes, and that included a seven-minute warmup on the treadmill.

Today’s workout was structured as follows:

  • WARMUP-Hand stand push-ups
  • WEIGHTS-Six exercises
  • CORE-Four exercises

When I got home, my husband asked my why I was home so soon.  LOL.  My family’s used to me being out for at least two hours.  I told him I only had about six exercises to work through and there was no cardio, but once the cardio kicked in, I’d be back to being out longer.

I didn’t perform my handstand push ups at the gym for fear of falling over, so I asked hubby to spot me while I did them at home.  When I got up the first time, I felt a strain on my back.  I asked hubby to bring my legs down.  Well, didn’t he practically let me drop?  I ended up hitting my left knee on the floor, but we did have a good laugh at my expense.  I said, “some spotter you are…you let me fall”.  Ha ha!   I did manage to do my set of handstand push ups, but it was a pathetic attempt, let me tell you.  My goal is to be able to make these look pretty by the end of the 100 days.

My abs are still feeling the effects of Sunday’s workout, so performing my ab exercises today took a little more effort, but I did them all.  I had to look up what one of the exercises was, so I didn’t do it in the gym, but I did do it once I got home after (after my push ups).

Food choices were mostly healthy (except for a couple of fries I took from the kids before I headed out to the gym).  Sadly, my macro targets were not met.  They weren’t even close.  Once again, I managed to be high on carbs and low on protein and fat.

24JUN14 macro breakdown

24JUN14 macro breakdown

I’m feeling pretty good, and I’m actually looking forward to tonight’s workout.  However, today’s plan calls for a five-mile run at 3% incline.  Help me!  If I run at a speed of 5.5, I can clear one mile in about 10 minutes.  If I run the full five miles, I’m looking at at least an hour, because there’s no way I can run for 50 minutes consistently at 5.5 mph.  Maybe I’ll do half before my workout and half after my workout.  Have I ever mentioned that I strongly dislike running?  Wish me luck!

Oh, and before all this happens, I have to take both my dog and cat to the vet.  The dog for her annual check up, and the cat because she’s been picking at her mouth.  I don’t think she’s eating properly, and I noticed she’s been losing weight.  Have to get her checked.

Day off

As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t work out yesterday, because I had a graduation to attend.  That worked out well for me, because I was pretty sore, and I’m still pretty sore today, although it’s getting better.

Yesterday’s dinner wasn’t all that great.  Again, I had a one too many carbs and too little protein.

23JUN14 macro breakdown

23JUN14 macro breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a reminder, my macro aim is:

  • 40% protein
  • 30% fat
  • 30% carb

I’m looking forward to tonight’s workout, and I will report back tomorrow on how that went.